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Today’s blog features part II of Contributing Editor Ron Carmean’s tour around the internet.  This time the focus is on special interests and there is no end to the list of intrigue when it comes to special interest websites.  Ron has done much of the work for us…here are his random recommendations, many of which you may find worthy of a mouse click!

Ron:  I assume people using the internet know how to buy books (eg, from Amazon) and clothing (eg, from L.L. Bean, if you’re like me).  But what are some other internet sites that might appeal to people’s interests?  Don’t worry; I won’t try to cover everything on the ‘Net.  I have an incredibly exciting life away from my keyboard and I must get back to it (at least occasionally).  Once again, my searching took place on 9/6/13.

1) www.thedailybeast.com = An online magazine with segments covering politics, business, entertainment, books, etc.  It keeps up with daily issues and headlines.  More glitzy than similar magazines (eg, Daily Kos, Salon, Slate).  A quick and entertaining way to stay informed.  Pick a magazine that fits your personality and values.

2) www.nytimes.com (or http://global.nytimes.com) = If you can follow only one newspaper for news (national and international), sports, entertainment, editorials, et al , this is the one to gravitate toward.  Many local newspapers can be found online, as well.  Again, pick a source that informs and entertains you.

3) www.theonion.com = Do yourself a favor and check out this site –if you haven’t already.  It’s where the news is INTENDED to be humorous.  Sample headlines: “Congress fiercely divided over completely blank bill that says and does nothing.”  “Bruce Springsteen on fence about playing Assad’s birthday gig.”  Keep telling yourself: It’s fictional and funny.  You deserve a break from “real” news, and this is where you get it.

4) www.Imdb.com = Internet movie data base.  Want to know what the first film of (someone) was?  Or: How many awards (someone/some film) has won?  Or: Who was in the cast of (____)?  In short, just about anything you want to know about actors or films is here.  Fantastic and enjoyable reference.

5) Groucho Marx.  Someone (famous) has said something(s)  you like, but you’re not sure of the wording, or what else they’ve said.  Google their name and “quotes” and you’ll find sources to give you what you want.  I did with Groucho and got 4 great sites.  Eg, www.quotationspage.com/  “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

6) www.joeposnanski.com = My favorite sportswriter’s blog.  (Others sportswriter’s I like are: Jayson Stark and Roger Angell (of whom it has been said: “He’s not a great sportswriter; he’s a great writer who writes about sports.”))  Joe writes LONG blog entries, every one insightful and enjoyable.  Settle back and enjoy his ride.

7) www.fupa.com and www.freeworldgroup.com = Free online games in Sports, Solitaire, Strategy, Cards, Puzzles, etc.  Mini-golf is my favorite (eg, Office mini-golf).  Pick your favorites; the price is right.

8) www.webmd.com = A layman’s medical Bible.  Provides information on illnesses, drugs: effects and side effects, medical issues.  Indispensable when considering a doctor’s suggestions for treatment (ie, prescriptions and procedures).  It’s information keeps you from flying blind in the medical world.  Very highly recommended.

9) www.petfinder.com = Learn about how to find and adopt a pet (primarily dogs and cats) from rescues/shelters.  Talking to friends with pets and veterinarians is also advised.  This site helped us find Jake (see “Jake’s Ideal Meal”); the best reason I have to recommend this site for your attention.

10) www.baseball-reference.com = A baseball stat lover’s dream.  What do you want to know: How many HRs did Solly Hemus hit in his BEST year?  (15 in 1952, plus a NL leading 105 RS and 20 HBP)  Better yet, how many HRs did Willie Mays hit as a rookie (of the year) in 1951?  (20)  Any player, any team, any stat since baseball began is here.  Ahhh.

11) www.pinterest.com/all/ = This address gave me the chance to look at pictures on the site.  Drop the “all/” and you go directly to signing in for first time.  Pinterest is “a tool for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you.”  I enjoyed the pictures, recipes, animals, wise sayings.  Supposedly more of a site for women, I enjoyed the time I spent there.  Try it.

12) www.smithmag.net/sixwords/ = I wrote about this recently, so I won’t repeat myself (too much) here.  A lot can be said in six words and this site gives a great sample of such writing.  Eg, a life (or its stages) can be summed up in six words: “Birth. Childhood. Adulthood. Livelihood. Retirement. Exit.”  I like it a lot.  You could, too.

13) www.Amazon.com = In case you don’t know, it’s not just for books anymore.  (We’ve had very good experiences no matter what we buy.)  Gift cards are available, too, if you don’t know exactly what to get someone.  Definitely worth a complete look.

14) www.PBS.org/newshour/  = A website for those of you who need more PBS than television provides in a day.  To be honest, I catch local news on the radio as I do something else.  It’s not worth more of my time.  But I read the nytimes online and watch the Newshour daily.  PBS gives us the best analysis of national and world wide issues anywhere.

15) www.metacritic.com = If you want a ton of critical reviews and ratings of movies, TV shows, games, and music, this is the site for you.  You really have to focus on what you want.  It looks promising as a place to get more than one opinion on something.  Still, I long for the days of Siskel and Ebert giving us all as much as we needed to know about films.

16) www.howstuffworks.com = This site is absolutely fascinating!  There are articles from many categories: Science, Tech, Adventure, etc.  When I visited the site, I found:  “10 differences between Macs and PCs”,  “10 games that take minutes to learn and a lifetime to master”  (of course Chess was number 1, but what was number 2; guess before you look at the end of this paragraph),  “10 Concept cars that made it to production.”  Not sure where to start?  Hit the “Random Article” tab on the Home Page.  I did and got:  “What will the Earth look like in 50,000 years?”  I’ll be visiting this site many times.  (Answer to “Game” question earlier: Scrabble)

I assume most of you are already familiar with some of these sites.  But, hopefully, I’ve added something to your “likes” list and, thereby, increased your enjoyment on the ‘net.

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About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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